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Green Thumb Tips

Echter’s Plant Doctors are available during store hours seven days a week to answer
your gardening questions. For accurate diagnosis, it helps to bring in a sample.
 
Flower Gardens
Mums are frost hardy and are a great value for the spectacular show of color they provide.
 
Planting large pots of garden mums, asters, or flowering kale as you remove annuals from beds and borders gives you a spectacular show of color immediately.

Bulbs
October is the best month to plant your spring-flowering bulbs. Fertilize with bulb food, super phosphate or bone meal when you plant the bulbs. Water them in thoroughly after planting.
When planting bulbs the pointed end of the bulb is positioned upward. Plant small, early-flowering bulbs where they can be seen from indoors, since they bloom when it is usually too cold to enjoy them outside.
 
Plant small, early flowering bulbs where they can be seen from indoors, since they bloom when it is usually too cold to enjoy them outside.

Perennials & Roses
Plant perennials at the same time you plant bulbs. You’ll be able to place perennial plants between your
bulb groupings for color from spring to fall.

Many perennials and ornamental grasses add seasonal interest to the garden with attractive seed heads
and plumes. Choose what you would like to remain intact and tidy up others by cutting back tall stems to the base foliage.

Lawns
Green Thumb Winterizer should be applied in mid October. Your lawn will be nice and green in the spring.

Trees
In October, deep water trees and shrubs every three weeks thoroughly. Do not fertilize trees now.
 
If you see browning needles in your pines and spruces, do not panic. It is a normal phenomenon. In the fall these plants lose their oldest needles and keep three or four years of their newest growth.
 
Rake up all aspen leaves to reduce the chance of revival of any leaf-related disease you may have experienced. Dispose of these leaves and do not add them to your compost pile or incorporate them into your vegetable garden.


Vegetable Gardens
Prepare your vegetable garden soil this fall following your harvest because amending soil in the spring can
be delayed if wet conditions prevail. Add Premier sphagnum peat moss, manure and Nature's Yield Compost now. It will age and decompose over the winter and provide for earlier and easier planting next spring.

Divide rhubarb and transplant overcrowded roots after the first killing frost for improved production next year.
 

Indoor Plants
Holiday cactus need special care to get beautiful flowers this December. Buds will form for the holidays if you keep artificial light off them at night starting in mid October.
 
Your houseplants will benefit from a good leaching. Take them to your kitchen sink or bathtub and water twice or three times to remove built up soluble salts remaining from fertilizer or minerals from the water. If left, these salts can build up and burn the roots and browning the tips and margins of the leaves.

Feathered Friends
Feeding the birds outside during the winter is great fun for young and old alike. You do need to have the right foods for the birds you are trying to attract. Start early while there are plenty of birds around. Keep the feeding stations clean and full.
 
Clean out bird houses and bird feeders to prevent the spread of diseases for next year’s families.
 

Water Features
   
October is the time to clean the organic matter from the bottom of your pond. Remember the yucky sludge from your pond makes an excellent addition to your compost pile.

Misc.
Stay warm while outside with a chimenea or fire pit. These outdoor “fireplaces” will keep you cozy warm while preparing your meal and entertaining outside.
Stop spiders, crickets, millipedes, earwigs and other bothersome bugs from coming into the house for the winter by spraying Green Thumb Home Pest Control around the foundation of your house and especially window wells.
 
 

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